How-to manual

There was a time in my life when I didn’t know how to pray . . . other than, “Father save me from this hour”–the prayer Jesus said he wouldn’t pray.

But by then the hour had already come, and the worst had been realized: my rancher husband had been convicted of six felony counts of animal abuse relating to the deaths of six calves and an old bull in a two-day blizzard. I’ll spare you the details about the mockery-of-a-trial, but long story short, it was a six-year ordeal that finally was reversed in the California Court of Appeals in 2007.

However, in the midst of the worst of all that, I was diagnosed as clinically depressed. I couldn’t eat, and all I wanted to do was sleep. The worst was that as I opened my Bible, it just seemed like a field of gray matter.

So, instead I turned to a wonderful book that I’d had for many years but had never read–Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. Every word–which was based on God’s Word–spoke hope and life into me. In fact, as my husband and I drove to the court for his sentencing across mountain roads for an hour, I used the underlined scripture in that devotional book to form out-loud prayers in the car.

I was reminded of that today when I read this today in Jeremiah 31:2: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness….” The expression survived the sword struck me. I think we sometimes think that as we are facing challenges, difficulties, and even tragedy, we might have the idea that we simply have to endure.

Nope. When we are facing the “swords” of our lives, we have a sword as well. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:17 that we can take the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” We are not defenseless. We have the power that God’s Word provides for us.

So, if you’re out in that desert place and feeling vulnerable and attacked and hopeless, let God’s Word speak truth into your life. Read it. Say it. Pray it. Even when you feel weak, you have the resources of God at your disposal.

Jesus used scripture to pray . . . so we can, too! Learn more about Jesus’ prayer life in my new book, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus–the only comprehensive guide to the prayer life of Jesus. 

TWO free books with each order this summer:                                – Prayer Helps: my ebook of prayers for difficult times

– Jane Austen address book: regularly $8.99

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